Sunday, August 28, 2011

Review : Blood Bound by Rachel Vincent

By blood, by word, by magic…

Most can't touch the power. But Liv Warren is special— a paranormal tracker who follows the scent of blood.
Liv makes her own rules, and the most important one is trust no one.But when her friend's daughter goes missing, Liv has no choice but to find the girl. Thanks to a childhood oath, Liv can't rest until the child is home safe. But that means trusting Cam Caballero, the former lover forbidden to her.Bound by oath and lost in desire for a man she cannot have, Liv is racing to save the child from a dark criminal underworld where secrets, lies, trauma and danger lurk around every corner…every touch…every kiss.
And more blood will be spilled before it's over…

"Skilled people have this much power over names, and blood, and oaths, and contracts, why aren't you ruling the world? I mean, why haven't you guys just kind of... taken over?"

Liv glanced at me, and when I shrugged, she returned Van's somber gaze with one of her own. "What makes you think we haven't?"

What an intriguing world Vincent has created! It's the equivalent to an underground supernatural mafia, which is all kinds of fun for me. 


Because three things are always present when doin' it mafia style -  deadly shoot-outs, backstabbing traitors, and at least one villain who, despite his or her detestable actions, leaves a small part of you hoping that he or she makes it through 'til the end. 

With "Blood Bound" you get all of this and more.

I won't rehash on what the story is about because the synopsis does that just fine. But I will tell you what I enjoyed and the major hang-up that very nearly had me closing this book for good.

Aside from the world that was brilliantly constructed, the relationships developed between the characters was intense and engaging. 

Liv Warren was a highly enjoyable and complex character. She manages to be hardcore and vulnerable at the same time. She carries a higher code of ethics than what most of her peers seem to live by but she still gets her hands dirty. She's a victim of circumstance, and while you can't always understand her decisions you never doubt her intentions.

"I've never gotten that far, as evidenced by the fact that my heart continues to beat, in spite of several times I would have declared it broken beyond repair. But everyone has a limit. A point past which you can't be pushed."

Then we have Cam Caballero, the man that Liv had loved and lost due to circumstances that won't become known to the reader until much later in the story. Cam still cares for Liv and even though the feeling is mutual, she continues to push him away while Cam continues to push back. 

His complete devotion to Liv, even after 6 long years, won me over and the fact that he reminded me of Marc Ramos was a bonus that many "Stray" fans will be able to appreciate.

"Olivia, you're not listening." He stared straight down into my eyes. "I can't stand the thought of him touching you. At all. I can't just sit here and wait for you to come back, imagining him all over you. Or hitting you. I can't"

Cam's wordless shout of anger and frustration followed me into the hall, chased by the crash of something heavy hitting the wall."

The dynamics between the two was highly entertaining and as the story progresses the situation becomes more and more complicated. It seemed like these star-crossed lovers would never catch a break.

And that leads me to the complication that took my complete adoration for all things "Blood Bound" and flipped it on its ass.

Cam's big mistake. 

I was crushed! Heartbroken! Why oh why would you do this Cam! I thought we had something special .... or at least I thought you did with Liv.

After pages and pages of Cam's obsession with regaining Liv's trust and maneuvering his way back into her life, he admits to a mistake that felt like a huge slap in the face.

How could I continue believing in any of the things that Cam had previously said when his "big mistake" happened the very same night that Liv leaves? A month later I could have dealt with. A year later would be more understandable. But the same night? No thank you. 

That's where my love affair with Cam Caballero came to an abrupt halt, shortly followed by my loss of admiration for Liv when she was so easily forgiving. A woman who was strong-willed enough to leave the man that she loves for six years wasn't capable of being angry about a HUGE betrayal for more than two pages? Doesn't matter that she left him first because he clearly didn't love her as much as he had claimed if he did what he did in less than 24 hours.

Some readers may not agree with me and come up with very sensible reasons why Cam should still be redeemable. Don't care. I couldn't like him anymore and it made the remaining parts of the story that involved their relationship less than enjoyable for me.

Fortunately there was still a mystery to be solved, some bad guy ass to kick, and a little girl to return safely to her mother, so I didn't put the book down completely despite the fact that I was disgusted with it. 

A lot of readers who have previously posted reviews didn't have the same issue with the story that I did ... or at least I haven't seen it mentioned by anyone else. So don't let my issues scare you away from reading this story. Rachel Vincent really is a fantastic author and I still plan to follow this series for as long as it continues. 

"... it felt possible that there might never be anything else. That we could live like this forever. That I could subsist on Cam Caballero alone and never want for a thing in my life."


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